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NHL Morning Papers (Thursday Edition)

Here are your morning papers from around the NHL on Thursday, October 9th:

-Thrashers’ coach John Anderson will have plenty of friends watching his debut as head coach, while center Bryan Little may be healthy enough to play in Friday’s opener.

-Over in Tampa, the newly acquired Lukas Krajicek hasn’t arrived as of yet. Meanwhile, defenseman Paul Ranger is nearly ready to play.

-Trying to address their injury problems, ‘Canes GM Jim Rutherford has ordered big changes to the team’s strength and conditioning regime. It seems to me that there is also a danger in overdoing stuff like this. The Oilers have a strenuous off-ice program in the summer, and they seem to be hampered by injuries too.

-Steve Gorten of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that the Panthers main focus is getting into the playoffs this after a lengthy absense. Of a more immediate nature, the Panthers will start the season without a captain.

-The Capitals Alex Ovechkin is teetering on the brink of widespread fame, and he may bring the Caps along with him.

-Rangers coach Tom Renney is juggling lines in antipation of the season opener, and new acquisition Aaron Voros said he will play anywhere.

-Josh Bailey and Jack Hillen have made the Islanders opening day roster, for now. Their status with the teams hinges on the return of some injured veterans. The Isles also picked up center Nate Thompson off waivers from the Bruins.

-Mark Everson of the New York Post thinks the Devils’ additions of some former players will lead to higher expectations in Newark.

-Hockey mom and Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin will drop the puck at the Flyers home opener, where rookie and Flyers first selection in the 2008 draft Lucas Sbisa will make his debut. I like the idea of Palin dropping the puck but worry about the reception she will receive in Philadelphia. Didn’t they once boo Santa Claus?

-The Penguins, who scored only once on 14 man advantages in their 2 games in Europe, are stressing patience right now. No need to panic for the high-octane Penguins, the goals will come.

-The Bruins bring more talent to the table this season, but will still rely on grit to win games. Tim Thomas will start in goal tonight against the Avalanche, a team that once cut him after what he thought was a solid rookie camp. Playing with an edge is good, playing with sour grapes doesn’t seem right. The Avs weren’t the only team to pass on Thomas, who didn’t become a regular in the NHL until recently.

-Andrei Markov is very excited about his new role as the triggerman on the Habs powerplay.

-The Buffalo News lists 5 reasons to be optimistic and 5 reasons to be pessimistic about the Sabres. Goaltender Ryan Miller is firmly in the optimist camp, as he likes what he sees in Buffalo.

-James Gordon of the Ottawa Citizen takes stock of the Senators while owner Eugene Melnyk was in Sweden wooing Mats Sundin.

-The Globe and Mail points out that the message Leafs’ coach Ron Wilson gives fans and media is different from what he tells the players. Meanwhile, the National Post reports this is year one in the Leafs rebuild.

David Jones has been told he will skate on the Avs top line with Joe Sakic and Wojtek Wolski, marking what would seem be the apex of a meteoric rise. Adrian Dater reports that Colorado is facing a season of uncertainty. Should be an interesting year for the Avs. I have seen them picked to finish anywhere from 1st to last in the Northwest.

-The Oilers look to continue their tradition of manufacturing chemistry through team building exercises as they spend a few days in Jasper, Alberta. Defenseman Ladislav Smid suddenly finds himself at #7 on the Oilers defensive depth chart, while Rob Schremp will get sent down today when he returns from a family funeral.

-Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun writes that Coach Mike Keenan is keeping his line combinations under wraps until the Flames opener tonight. Steve McFarlane wonders if Todd Bertuzzi will be booed in Vancouver.

-Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press suggests that the Wild need to make a decision to sign or trade Marion Gaborik very soon. I agree. If they are going to move him, the return might be highest right now before his annual groin injury. Otherwise, you are left waiting til the trade deadline and trying to hold a team for ransom. A new direction might not hurt them.

-The Vancouver Canucks will look to some of their younger players in the hopes that they can supply the offense that the team needs.

-Despite being placed on waivers, Nik Khabibulin said he is happy to stay in Chicago and share the goaltending duties. The Sporting News comments on the resurgence of the Hawks on the Chicago sports scene.

-Aaron Portzline notes that the Jackets have added some much needed attitude to the team this season while Tom Reed writes that the team from Columbus is still struggling to get noticed in the NHL.

-Are the Red Wings too good to be true? Maybe, but they know they will in everyone’s signts this year. Marion Hossa admits the banner raising ceremony will be awkward for him.

-The Predators last roster moves, including sending Antii Pihlstrom to Milwaukee and putting Nick Tarnasky on IR, leave them with 22 players on their opening night roster.

-Patrik Berglund and Alex Pietrangelo will get new numbers when they suit up for the Blues, while TJ Oshie and David Perron will keep their training camp numbers. Meanwhile, all the Blues are excited to get the season started and start looking for success.

-The LA Times lists 5 Keys to Success for the Ducks. Coach Randy Carlyle detects a more workmanlike attitude from his players this season, who have a hunger to win it all again.

-The Kings are stressing the need for team defense this year. This group of youngsters will need it if they hope to be competitive.

Sean Avery takes a shot at Jarome Iginla during a radio interview. The rest of the Stars are focused on winning a Stanley Cup.

Randy Hahn and Drew Romenda provide a viewers guide to the Sharks, while Kyle McLaren is headed to the minors for now. He likely won’t be there for long.

-Despite a strong training camp, center Garth Murray has been sent down by the Coyotes, who will focus on defense to win games.